tv CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera CNN May 14, 2017 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
you're live in the cnn news room, i'm monica cabrera with breaking news. we have a dire warning after a ballistic missile test. the north session that test was to see if that test was to see if a missile could carry a large nuclear war head and pyongyang has a definitely warning for the u.s. in just minutes, we will go live to beijing for a live report on this breaking news. now to the ominous warning from the former director of national intelligence about the state of our government, following president trump's decision to fire fbi director james comey. >> i think in many ways, our institutions are under assault of extermly and that's the big
news here. is russian interference in our election system, and i think as well, our institutions are under assault internally. >> our polls show just 29% of americans approve of the president's firing of comey, as the search continues now for the next person to lead the fbi, and these eight people we have learned are being interviewed. but the fbi is pushing back, . y here's senator chuck schumer. >> this is an jewiissue of coun not party, and our credibility with the american people and of our country with the world is rapidly eroding because of this crisis of credibility. >> i want to bring in white house correspondent athena jones, what is the president saying about all this blow back? >> reporter: the president is
expressing surprise. he thought that his decision to remove director comey would be celebrated and so, in an interview late last week on fox, he expressed both surprise and defiance, slamming democrats for their response. take a listen. >> look, i thought that this would be a very popular thing that i did when i terminated comey, because all of the democrats couldn't stand him. >> so he was surprised, but also sounds defiant, one more example of that defiance, is that amid all the uproar of the firing of comey, he fired off a clip that was a mashup of members of the fbi slamming comey.
>> i know the democratic leader of the senate intelligence leader said he would like to have director comey testify at a public hearing. >> i think the chances are good, he was invited to testify this week before a senate panel but has dekleined to do so, i think that he will be ready to speak at some future date. so that is what we'll be waiting, when he does decide to appear, there will be all eyes on that testimony. sarah, first, strong words from the former director of national intelligence, saying u.s. institutions are under assault by the president. but do politicians even care about that kind of rhetoric?
does it give them pause or do they just ignore it? >> president trump in particular has not held the words of former obama administration officials or even his predecessors, necessarily in high regard. he's someone who sees himself as independent from former officials in washington. and part of what he ran on was deconstructing the administrative state according to steve bannon, he ran on dismantling washington as we know it. so in a lot of ways, when he's going after the way things work, the status quo, that's what he promise it. what he did not promise was this level of chaos and uncertainty, and the fear that he's not always being 100% honest with the american people, and that his representatives, his press team may not be telling the whole truth before he goes and the american public. those are the kinds of things that his supporters did not want and those who voted for -- going
after those institutions is something he did run on. >> the next question is going to be crucial, who is going to become the next fbi director. including texas senator john ho hornyn. >> when you talk about a new person to lead the fbi, how about an fisher agent who is above reproach. >> josh, who is above reproach? >> who would be somebody the democrats would support? >> we're talking about somebody ideally that would not have a political background, that would take out your senior senators and lawmakers on the republican side, that would include john cornyn, we have also heard about
congressman mike rogers, they want somebody who doesn't have a history of being partisan so they can have some credibility in leading this organization's investigation into the russ russia-trump collusion. we also heard that mitch mcconnell might support garland as the fbi director. the republicans don't need their votes to confirm anybody. so it will be up to republican leaders in congress to put forth a person who the american people can accept. >> sarah, i want to talk about what else clapper said, he says he opens republicans in congress will speak up on the issue of appointing a special prosecutor,
any chance of that happening? >> i don't think republicans feel like they're in a position at the moment where they have to support a special prosecutor, they can point to the fact that attorney general jeff sessions did recuse himself from matters involving the trump campaign. but short of another development in the russia controversy, short of some revelation that puts republicans in a defense position, at the moment, they can argue that fbi director comey was unpopular, that republicans and democrats have long advocated for his removal and now that that has happened they have a chance to put a nonpartisan person in there. short of some other development, republicans don't feel like they're under that pressure to appoint a special prosecutor. >> and yet, josh, why not a special prosecutor?
>> well rk, basically, the argut against a special prosecutor takes us back to square one. but the other reason, is because it would have to be appointed by trump's attorney general rod rosenstein, who has made it clear he's just not going to do it. in the end, you have to abandon this idea that the trump administration is going to police itself. if the independent investigation is going to come, it's going to coming from a separate commission. when we talk about the trump administration's assault on institutions, it's not about taking power away from bureaucracie bureaucracies, we're talking about a wholesale assault on the system of checks and balances, attacks on judges, attacks on
transparen transparencies. this is a broad series of policies that has really called into question the president's politics and basic provisions of power. >> i talked to republican congressman mo brooks earlier, here's what he said to me when i asked whether he thinks a special prosecutor should be appointed to the russian investigation. >> if we're not comfortable with the fbi director, if for some reason there's evidence that comes forth that suggests that the fbi agents are not doing their due diligence, with respect to the investigation of russia, then we can start addressing the special prosecutor. >> he wants to see who the president appoints first to the fbi director position. is there anyone, sarah, who the president can appoint that the public would trust to lead the investigation into the trump campaign in russia? >> well, the president has --
not the president, but republicans around the president have floated different ideas that could unite democrats and republicans in theory in maybe a different set of circumstances, marick garland is one, the nominee by president obama, even by some conservatives like senator like lee, you have andrew mccabe, who's the acting fbi director right now who has a long history at the bureau, who's someone that fbi agents know and trust already. those are the kinds of names that world potentially assuage those with a -- like senator john cornyn, like some of the others that have been under
considerati consideration. if the president nominates someone in unimpeachable conduct in his position. north korea says the missile it just test fired has the ability to carry a large nuclear war head. we'll go overseas for reaction. plus the correct crisis, the president says he's so busy, you can't blame his staff when they get it wrong, when they get their facts wrong. the white house announces an investigation to over the voter fraud claim. anyone can get you ready, holiday inn express gets you the readiest. because ready gives a pep talk. showtime! but the readiest gives a pep rally.
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a ballistic missile test. the new missile is capable of carrying a large-sized heavy nuclear war head. i want to bring in former national security staffer in the clinton administration. thank you so much for being with us. this news coming out that it really reached the high altitude, some 1,300 miles. what's your first reaction hearing this? >> it is a success. they have had a number of failures, and those failures have raised questions about the effectiveness of the north korea missile program. and they have been making process and that process is to an intercontinental ballistic missile. >> it's not technically an icbm, but they are moving in the
direction of having that kind of capability. the point is everybody is worried about an icbm, that they would be able to deliver newark clear weapons to the united states. they can reach japan, they can reach guam, let's just say in some terrible scenario, and they wanted to reach the united states, they can reach american troops in south korea and japan. they can also reach china and this is also a statement about north korea's relationship with china, which is not very good at all. >> which is interesting because china is holding a summit with other nations. david, what is the reaction on the ground of this latest provocation by north korea? >> i know this will be a slap in the face of the chinese
president. the fact that they have launched this missile right in the middle as you say of this major conference here hosted by the chinese president. so you have had condemnation by the chinese and the russians at this conference. but given the fact that the north koreans were invited to come to this meeting, it does show that they are willing to ignore the fact that their only friend, really, or close ally traditionally has been china and yet still go ahead with this missile launch. >> so david, the information we have about how far this missile went, is coming from north korea directly. is there any way to verify these claims? >> well certainly the information in those statements from north korea is kind of sprinkled in there, amongst the
bombastic rhetoric we expect from the hermit kingdom. the certain of those facts that they used there have been verified by outside experts. like the fact that this missile traveled at a very high altitude of 1,300 miles, that it landed somewhere close to russian territory and that it appears to be a stuck sessionful missile launch test. but one thing that is obviously particularly disturbinging in those statements from north korea is that they're saying this is capable of carrying at some point a nuclear war head, they say it was testing for that purpose. no way to verify that information at this stage, but certainly military experts will be closely watching all the details, both from the north koreans, and from satellite
imagery and other monitoring systems. >> this latest north korean missile test does come just ahead of this economic forum that's going to take place in beijing. what does this say about the influence china has over pyongyang. >> china has little influence or a lot of influence. they have a little influence if they're going to try to influence north korea by small means. but still china strategically believes it's better off with even a hostile nuclear armed north korea than a potential ally with the united states. if china were to say to the north koreans, we don't want you to have nuclear weapons, and wire going to use all the methods at our disposal, including cutting off food,
medicine, supplies. right now, the kim family and the regime believe they are better off with nuclear weapons than without. >> how do you think the u.s. administration should respond to this latest threat? >> certainly we need to increase the level of pressure on north korea and on china to do more. but the donald trump-north korea policy is basically in shamables. right now the south korean elections, some of the things that trump said undermine the relationship between north and south korea. that's allowed the chinese to talk about more engagement with north korea. you can't increase the pressure and increase the engagement. so the trump policy, they said it was going to be different, but right now it's quite a mess. and north korea is in a much
stronger position now than they were in the beginning of the trump administration. >> yesterday we were recording the north korea, they said they would be willing to have diplomatic talks going forward and then they fire off this ballistic missile. you're always great to provide a lot of great information for us in a complex situation. we'll continue to stay on top of this breaking news, a quick break, we'll be right back. lif. intelligent technology can help protect it. the all-new audi q5 is here.
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the president has authorized a new commission to investigate voter fraud. >> reporter: despite her electoral walloping, hillary clinton claims she won the popular vote by about 3 million. not the way trump treated. i won the popular vote because of the millions who voted illegally. >> we're going to protect the integrity of the ballot box and we're going defend the votes of the american citizen. >> reporter: never mind that some in his own party oppose the effort. >> there's no effort that it occurred in such a significant number that would have changed the presidential election. and i don't think we ought to spend any federal money
investigating that. >> that paper's analysis has been strongly criticized by other experts. there is a respected pugh report saying that there are registered voters in more than one state but that's a result of bad recordkeeping. >> and the act of voter fraud. >> excuse me, then why did he write the report. >> nonetheless, leading the president's new commission will be vice president pence and kansas secretary of state cisco bash. and the man who says he's caught people voting in hiss state and another at the same time. >> my office prosecutes it. i just got that prosecutorial authority a year and a half ago. we have already filed nine cases and we have six guilty pleas.
>> reporter: that may not sound like much, but he believes a lot more could be found. he refutes the claim that millions of illegal votes were falsely cast. former speaker of the house, newt gingrich may be tapped for a role in the trump administration. the white house hopes to announce her nomination. coming up, the correct question, the president is so busy, you can't blame his staff when he gets it wrong. could this really happen? in vesa vested investor in vests, i invest with e*trade, where investors can investigate and invest in vests... or not in vests.
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so many thing, i mean there's so much factual fabrication and backsliding and contradiction. we need our republican colleagues, not every day, but on the occasions when it's necessary, such as a special prosecutor, to speak out because this is country, this is an issue of country, not party. >> that was senate minority leader chuck schumer expressing frustration with his republican colleagues. he did contradict members of his own staff, including the vice president, on how he made the decision to fire fbi director james comey. >> he made a recommendation, but regardless of recommendation, i was going to fire comey. >> he took the recommendation of his deputy attorney general who oversees the fbi director. >> he made a determination that the fbi director had lost his confidence, and made a
recommendation to the attorney general. >> the president took strong and decisive leadership here to put the safety and security of the american people first, by accepting the recommendation of the deputy attorney general. >> he took the advice of his deputy attorney general to fire comey from his position. >> also back with us, "washington post" columnist josh rogan and white house correspondent. when you heard the vice president, the press secretary, the deputy secretary, the white house counsel. all said this decision was based on the recommendation of the ag, the deputy ag, and then you hear the president come out and say, no, i was going to do it regardless. what do you think? >> we all suffer from whiplash this past week, i thought when
the original story came out, that it didn't seem very credible, but there must be something to it because they were all the same. usually what happens on a big thing, happens on the white house. there's a communications plan, and the president signs off on a very important issue. i frankly was really surprised that the story unraveled within 24 hours, because there was no truth to it whatsoever. there was essence of the phony story he put out to begin with. because this was a recommendation from the justice department. the number two recommendation from the white house. and the president accepted the recommendation and that's why he fired him. none of these citizen tenses are true. >> do you know it was a strategic error by the president to admit the truth? >> i think -- well, i welcome the fact that he actually told the truth at the end. but i don't understand why didn't thiey say that in the beginning? there was a time in this country when presidents told bald face
liars, and white houses told bald face laws, that was a serious sin in politics, you just did not do that. i have worked in four white houses, and remember in nixon administration, people told bald face lied. in this case, we had the keystone kops. first it was a phony story and then it unraveled so quickly, what's going on with this guy? >> the president said the mixed messages were quote in a tweet, this is such a fast moving presidency, a good reason may be is to cancel the future white house briefings, that could be a solution. let's listen. >> are you moving so quickly that your communications department cannot keep up with you? >> yes, that's true.
>> so what do we do about that? >> we don't have press conferences and we do -- >> you don't mean that. >> we just don't have them, unless i have one every two weeks and i do it myself, we don't have them. i think it's a good idea. >> president trump said canceling the briefings will help his messaging problem. what do you think? >> there's a failure in this administration to acknowledge that communication with the media is not a gift to the media, it's both a fiduciary responsibility to the american people and is their only reliable way to communicate their message, what they think and what they're doing. it's in their interest to have the briefings, it's not just in our interest. i think they must know that, i think they're making a threat that they don't intend to really followthrough on. if the trump administration just reverts to written statements, its ability to do the things that it wants to do will suffer.
it won't get better. maybe they have to go through that to figure that out, but i assure you that's going to happen. >> before the comey fire, asking vote ores to describe president trump in one word. and look at these responses. 39% said idiot, 31% said incompetent, 30% said liar. 29% approve of trump's firing of comey. what impact does this have for the president's first trip overseas. >> the white house is hoping that this first trip overseas will help him to hit the reset button. it will help him look like a statesman in a variety of different settings. so from their perspective, this first foreign trip could not be coming at a better time. they want to draw everyone's attention away from this chaos.
but we have to wonder whether this will be what the president would like. they have had trouble in the past rolling out policies that have been botched in execution. republicans and democrats agreed that comey had gotten too political, and yet the way the white house handled it has dealt them perhaps their greater controversy to date. and so even though this trip is the perfect setting for them to regain their footing, it is also fraught with risks because they are going to be in a high profile environment, it could be another way to show indication their inability to execute these big policy decisions. >> as far as this foreign policy trip goes, is there a possibility that the president of the united states has as he meets with foreign leaders given
this past week? >> many foreign leaders are wary of the president. they're not quite sure we'll keep our word. but i think he's got a better on policy team, and the decision-making process is better than it has been on the domestic side. let me just say something about these press briefings. in a democracy, we entrust an enormous power to the president of the united states. and there's got to be some form of accountability. in britain, they have a different form, they don't have daily press briefings, but the prime minister has question time in parliament. and members of his parliament go every day and ask questions. in the united states we have press briefings and the president can come in any time he wants to. but press briefings are the way we keep the white house accountable. >> you have served many an
administration and it's not uncommon for those in positions of power to not necessarily like when the media is not covering the message they want to put out there. >> sure. >> as we say, spin, sometimes, the perspective they want to cover. >> you're always completing with the story you want to get out there, and sometimes the press will come in with a story it wants. you tell a phony story to us, it's going to happen, you can't get anything out until you sort of deal with all of that. but i must say, i find it, the whole idea of getting rid of press conferences is so contrary to what we have always believed. i just want to say one more thing about how they control the press, even when he goes overseas. he's going to have domestic stories popping overseas. the congressional budget office is expected to come up with the numbers on the house approved health care plan. those numbers are going to be a
big story. you have other numbers like the budget. the comey story is not going away, the investigation of the russian stuff is not going away easily. i think this president may find that even though he's overseas visiting these religious -- he's making almost a preference to various religions, the saudis and the muslims and the catholics. but i think he's going to find, it may be frustrating to get overseas with a lot of big stories are back here. >> and in the meantime, there's going to be the ongoing issues that are facing him on the domestic frontwhile he's overseas and there's been increased pressure on the president to take a stand when you talk about these institutions and the underpinning of this democracy that others say are at risk right now. do you think there's going to be a breaking point or what would that breaking point be for many
republicans? >> normally what happens is if there's a doubt in a congress about what the president is up to, they don't express it immediately. people of his own party are reluctant to go after the president. but doubts grow, things build up and eventually is dam may break. this dam hasn't broken yet. i think a lot is going to depend on what happens in public opinion. public opinion has turned sour on the president. but it hasn't happened yet. >> thank you all, coming up, united shades of america, a hard look at the treatment of native americans. >> are you leading me to believe that the government of this country and maybe even the white people who run this country are familiar with your race? th ugly. but scotts ez seed changes everything.
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. a couple of undocumented immigrants who took sanctuary inside a church in denver, the same church to avoid deportation, are free to remain in the u.s. for at least for now. we've been following the story of jeanette viscara, colorado mom of three university children born in the u.s. immigration officials just granted her and ar tour oher nan december temporary stays of removal. both came the u.s. illegally from mexico more than a decade ago. their separate efforts to fight deportation gained international attention. in fact, "time" magazine named viscara one of its 100 most influential people. she can now stay in the u.s. through march 15th of 2019, and she said she was looking forward to spending mother's day with her kids. one in four native people in the u.s. lives in poverty. that's twice the national average. w ka mel bell explores this igs
and much more during tonight's brand-new episode of "united shades of america." he travels to dakotas to learn what life on a modern indian reservation is really like. >> so this is better than a tent that you buy like at a store, right? >> you can have a fire in there. you can't have a fire in a regular old tent. >> reporter: why cannot you have a fire in a regular tent? >> it is made of plastic. it would burn up. >> thank you. i don't camp a lot. >> ideally used to hang buffalo robes in it and it could survive negative 40 degree weather. >> reporter: which it is going to be cold like that shortly. >> yeah. >> reporter: you will be able to survive in shh. >> no. >> reporter: no? >> ideally you would survive in it, but this is not the kind of buffalo hide teepee i could survive negative 40 degree weather? >> reporter: what are you going to do when it gets cold? >> there's a hotel up the road. >> reporter: i for get there's new ways down the street. >> we live in both worlds.
we walk two paths. >> a lot of laughter there. w.camel bell joining us now. as part of this episode you explored the causes behind some of the big issues native americans are facing, serious issues, poverty, unemployment, crime. what did you find? >> yes, there were a lot of laughter because a lot of repressed people, we have to laugh when we experience repression. there's a lot of laughing throughout the episode. i found the big thing in this country is we don't talk about this. major media doesn't cover it. last year there was standing rock, we ended up going there and could pitch this to the network. these are not covered in the news. poverty and police brutality only come up irregularly instead of being caught up in the issues we talk about in this country. >> you explored the things like team names such as cleveland indians. what did you hear from the people you interviewed regarding there? >> reporter: i mean they have a
multitude of problems, but that's one of them. it seems like the problem we could help them with, because, as i said, studies have been done by psychologists that show that makes kids feel worse themselves, these mascot names. it is a very easy fix, just get rid of those names. but, again, because we ignore them it is easy to turn them into mascots in this country. >> for a prior episode we were talking about your conversation with white nationalist richard spencer. he is back in the news today leading a protest with torches against plans to remove a federal monument. based on your conversations with spencer, did you learn anything that makes you think he would ever be part of the solution rather than the problem of america's racial divide? >> the thing i learned about him is that he's going to do what he can do to mobilize his people and get attention. he wants headlines. so this got him headlines. i wish people would ask president trump what he thought about it since he had steve
bannon in the white house trumpeting spencer's agenda. >> i want to ask you about the announcement from attorney general jeff sessions instructing prosecutors to charge suspects with the most serious offense that they could be. let's listen. >> going forward i have empowered our prosecutors to charge and pursue the most serious offense as i believe the law requires, the most serious, readily provable offense. it means we are going to meet our responsibility to enforce the law with judgment and fairness. it is simply the right and moral thing to do. >> kamal, as somebody who did an entire episode on the gang violence in chicago, what impact could this new policy have? >> i mean basically it comes down to being a -- because we're being overcharged with crimes we do. it means we will be further overcharged. if you look like the unequal drug laws, crack cocaine you get more time than for powder crow
cain back crack cocaine is a black or brown drug. this means we're already filling up the jails. we talked about last year in the united shades san quentin episode, so a further attack on us. >> you believe this will unfairly impact people of color? >> i mean the laws of this country already unfairly impact people of color. this will go to further enhance them. >> finally, let's talk about this notion of celebrities running against president trump in 2020. this week wrestler turned actor jane "the rock" johnson told gq it is a possibility he will make a presidential run. what is your take? >> now that president trump is in the office, clearly everybody is invited. i'm willing to look at everybody's platform now because i don't know that the democrats have a better candidate currently than dwayne "the rock" johnson. >> why not you? do i have your vote?te? >> you have my vote, kamal. would you ever get involved in
politics? >> no, my tax form says comedian and always will say comedian, so, no, that's not going to happen. >> all right. w. kamal bell, we look forward to your episode. be sure to catch "united shades of america" tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern on cnn. back in a moment. ♪ isn't it time to let the real you shine through? introducing otezla, apremilast. otezla is not an injection or a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. some people who took otezla saw 75% clearer skin after 4 months. and otezla's prescribing information has no requirement for routine lab monitoring. don't take otezla if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. otezla may increase the risk of depression. tell your doctor if you have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts, or if these feelings develop. some people taking otezla reported weight loss.
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show me top artist. show me the top hot 100 artist. they give awards for being hot and 100 years old? we'll take 2! [ laughing ] xfinity x1 gives you exclusive access to the best of the billboard music awards just by using your voice. the billboard music awards. sunday, may 21st eight seven central only on abc. ♪ you're live in the "cnn newsroom." i'm ana cabrera. great to have you with us. we begin with a troubling warning in the wake of president trump's firing of fbi director comey. it comes from an expert that worked for republican and democratic president. here is what former national intelligence james clapper had
to say. >> i think in many ways our stieg stie institutions are under assault, both externally -- and that's the big news here, is the russian interference in our election center -- and i think as well our tuinstitutions are under assault internally. >> internally from the president? >> exactly. >> clapper held key intelligence roles in both the obama and the george w. bush administrations. meanwhile, president trump is vowing to quickly name a new fbi director to replace comey. at least eight candidates are being interviewed for the job. trump may reveal his pick, he says, before he departs washington friday before his first international trip. athena jones, what are you hearing about the president being surprised over the backlash he is facing over firing comey? >> reporter: hi, ana, this is both remarkable and telling, the fact that the president was surprised at the response that that move